Finding the recipe for a bigger, greener world rice bowl


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Rice is the principle meals staple for greater than half of the worldwide inhabitants, and because the inhabitants grows, demand for rice is anticipated to develop, too.

But rising world rice manufacturing is just not a easy prospect.

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“Global rice manufacturing is challenged now as a result of unfavorable environmental impact, water scarcity, labor shortage and slowing yield will increase in lots of elements of the world,” stated Shen Yuan, a postdoctoral analysis affiliate at Huazhong Agricultural University in China who spent two years as a visiting scholar on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The problem is producing extra rice on present cropland, and doing so whereas minimizing the environmental impression. New analysis led by Shaobing Peng, a professor of agronomy at Huazhong Agricultural University, and Patricio Grassini, affiliate professor of agronomy at Nebraska and co-leader of the Global Yield Gap Atlas, offers an evaluation of roadmaps towards sustainable intensification for a bigger world rice bowl. The analysis was revealed Dec. 9 in Nature Communications.

“Comparing rice cropping systems around the world in terms of productivity and efficiency in the use of applied inputs can help identify opportunities for improvement,” Grassini stated.

The world evaluation was led by Huazhong Agricultural University and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, and Texas A&M’s AgriLife Research Center within the United States; the International Rice Research Institute; Africa Rice Center; Indonesian Center for Rice Research and Assessment Institute of Agricultural Technology in Indonesia; Federal University of Santa Maria and EMBRAPA Arroz e Feijão in Brazil; National Institute of Agricultural Research in Uruguay; and Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research and Indian Institute of Water Management in India. The research assessed rice yields and effectivity in using water, fertilizer, pesticides and labor throughout 32 rice cropping techniques that accounted for half of world rice harvested space.

“This study is the most comprehensive global evaluation of production systems for a major staple crop that I am aware of, and it will set the standard for future global comparison of such systems,” stated Kenneth G. Cassman, professor emeritus at Nebraska and a co-author of the paper.

The excellent news, in keeping with the research, is that there’s nonetheless substantial room to extend rice manufacturing and scale back the unfavorable environmental impression.

“Around two-thirds of the total rice area included in our study have yields that are below the yield that can be attained with good agronomic practices,” Yuan stated. “Closing the existing yield gap requires better nutrient, pest, soil and water management, reduction of production risk and breeding programs that release rice cultivars with improved tolerance to evolving pests and diseases.”

Another essential discovering from the research is that meals manufacturing and environmental targets don’t battle.

“We found that achieving high yields with small environmental impact per unit of production is possible,” Peng stated. “Indeed, there is room for many rice systems to reduce the negative impact substantially while maintaining or even increasing rice yields.”

Producing extra and minimizing the environmental footprint is a gigantic problem, Grassini stated.

“Improved agronomic practices, complemented with proper institutions and policy, can help make rice cultivation more environmentally friendly,” Grassini stated. “Our study marks a first step in identifying systems with the largest opportunities for increasing crop yields and resource-use efficiency, providing a blueprint to orient agricultural research and development programs at national to global scales.”

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More info:
Shen Yuan et al, Sustainable intensification for a bigger world rice bowl, Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27424-z

Finding the recipe for a bigger, greener world rice bowl (2021, December 9)
retrieved 9 December 2021

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